It’s Friday, you know what that means.
We start off the show with a recap of Roman Reigns’ victory over Kevin Owens in a steel cage match last week. Roman Reigns makes his entrance, flanked by Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. His entrance takes so long, I’m able to shave my beard and grow it back before he starts talking. He wishes us a Happy New Year. He says that the reason he wears his gold glove because everything he touches turns to gold, including Heyman and Jey.
He continues to sing Jey’s praises until Kevin Owens interrupts him. Roman tells him to scram because he’s embarrassing “his show.” Owens says he should be embarrassed because despite Roman’s best efforts, Owens is still standing. He challenges Jey to a match to get revenge for all his interference in his title matches against Roman, and goes to find Adam Pearce to make it official.
Intercontinental Champion Big E VS King Corbin (w/ the Knights of the Lone Wolf)
With Sami Zayn on commentary, the two jockey for position before Big E takes advantage with a back elbow for 2. He employs a gator roll for another 2 before getting caught with a clothesline by Corbin for 2. The King tosses Big E shoulder-first into the ringpost and then drops him with a back elbow for 2. Big E tosses Corbin to the apron and looks for a spear, but gets caught with a knee. Corbin goes for his ring-around-the-ringpost clothesline but gets caught with the Big Ending. Before he can get the three count, Sami and the Knights of the Lone Wolf come in and beat him down, causing a disqualification. Apollo Crews comes to the rescue of the champ, tossing Blake and Cutler to the outside and then throwing Sami on top of them.
Winner via disqualification: Big E
Big E and Apollo Crews VS Sami Zayn and King Corbin (w/ the Knights of the Lone Wolf)
When we come back from commercial break, the match has been changed into a tag match. Apollo hits Sami with a dropkick for 2, but Sami fights back with an elbow for 2 and tags in Corbin. The King catches Apollo with a big right hand and Sami tags himself in to beat down Apollo. He tags in Corbin who slams Apollo with a clothesline in the corner. He tosses him to the outside and the Knights of the Lone Wolf attack him while the ref is busy dealing with an irate Intercontinental Champ.
Sami tags himself in and tosses Crews to the outside as well, but gets into an argument with his tag partner’s lackeys when they don’t attack Crews for him. He goes back inside and pins Crews for 2, but gets caught with a powerslam. Both wrestlers tag in their partners, and Big E comes in and tosses Corbin with a series of belly-to-belly suplexes. He drops his Big Splash on Corbin, which Corey Graves says is like getting hit with a Big Rig, and then looks for the Big Ending. Corbin instead catches him with Deep Six for a close 2.
Sami continues to argue with Blake and Cutler on the outside, allowing Big E to tag in Crews, who drops the King with a clothesline. Corbin is able to tag in Sami, who goes for a Helluva Kick and nearly hits Corbin. Corbin gets upset, and Sami yells at him to calm down and to get his lackeys to listen to him. This is apparently the last straw for the King, who leaves Sami alone in the ring. Sami tells Corbin he doesn’t need him and immediately gets caught with an enziguri from Crews. Crews delivers his spinning powerbomb to get the win for his team.
Winners via pinfall: Big E and Apollo Crews
Match Rating: 3/5
Backstage, Kevin confronts Adam Pearce, who reluctantly gives him a match with Jey Uso. Owens promises to win the match and then attack Jey, or as he said it, “beat him, then beat him up.”
Kayla Braxton interviews Big E and Apollo Crews. Big E says that he’ll have an open challenge for his championship next week. Apollo Crews tells him he’ll be the one accepting it, since he technically helped him win it. There’s a couple seconds of awkward silence before the two break into very aggressive laughter.
Natalya and Tamina (w/ Billie Kay) VS The Riott Squad
Billie Kay said that tonight would be the night that she shows she’s the best tag competitor on SmackDown, but two of her former partners had different plans. Natalya and Tamina both come out and unceremoniously kick Kay out of the match. Liv starts out against Natalya, with Liv taking advantage with a wheelbarrow pin for 2. Kay shouts undecipherable advice from the outside that distracts Natalya, and Liv tags in Ruby for a double dropkick. Ruby hits Tamina with a series of strikes before getting dropped with an uppercut.
Ruby tags in Liv, who attacks Natalya and then beats down Tamina. She tags in Liv for a double STO for 2. Kay has migrated over to the other corner to cheer for the Riott Squad, and they shoo her away. Ruby tags in Liv, but Tamina shoves her away and hits Ruby with a superkick. She picks up Liv for a Samoan Drop, but is distracted by a frantic Kay, and Liv rolls her up for the win.
Winners via pinfall: Riott Squad
Match Rating: 3/5
Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks VS Carmella and Bayley
Carmella starts off against Belair, who slams Carmella to the mat and locks her in a wristlock. Carmella runs over and tags in Bayley, who runs right into a dropkick and gets tossed to the outside. Carmella gets thrown to the outside as well, and Bianca tags in Banks, who takes out Bayley with a crossbody. She brings her back in and pins her for 2 as we go to commercial. When we come back, Bayley is in control, dropping Belair with a forearm for 2. Bayley twists Bianca’s left arm around the ropes and tags in Carmella, who stomps down Belair and pins her for 2.
She twists her arm in the corner as well, and then tags in Bayley again, who rolls Belair up for a close 2. Bayley locks in a submission, but Belair fights out and drops her with a suplex. Carmella is tagged in to prevent Belair from making a tag, and she gets a cheap shot on Banks in there as well. Belair rolls Carmella up for 2 and gets caught with a superkick.
Belair finally tags in Banks, who viciously attacks Carmella with an enziguri and a running knee, but Bayley breaks up a pin with her own knee. Belair comes in, tosses Bayley out, and offers her hair to Banks to pull her to the corner, but Bayley grabs it instead. The EST of WWE uses her hair to pull Bayley into the ringpost, and then slams Bayley with a suplex. Carmella hits a couple superkicks on the champ, but gets rolled into the Bank Statement when she goes for a Bronco Buster.
Reginald the sommelier pulls her out of the ring, and then stands on the apron to taunt Banks. When she goes to attack him, he backflips off the apron. This flashy display doesn’t amount to anything, as Banks catches Carmella’s surprise superkick and delivers a knee for 2. Banks slaps Reginald, as he has gotten back on the apron. Carmella takes advantage of this distraction, hitting the Mella Buster on Banks for the win.
Winners via pinfall: Carmella and Bayley
Match Rating: 3/5
Backstage, Roman is upset with the fact that Jey has to wrestle K.O., and he tells Paul to find the WWE official that sanctioned the match.
Backstage, we see that Sonya Deville has made her return to WWE SmackDown. Glad she’s back, since that means that we get to see her wrestle again and that she’s feeling at least a little better about the ordeal she faced prior to her departure.
The SmackDown Tag Team Champions, the Street Profits, bring us their New Year’s Smoke-Tacular. They reveal a drum-kit, and Dawkins sits down to play. And by play I mean punctuate Ford’s sentences with little drum fills. It’s great. They make some 2021 predictions, saying the shirt they made for Sami Zayn will be the best selling shirt on the WWE Shop. He says that Ziggler will earn the nickname “The Heartache Kid” for stealing Shawn Michaels’ superkick.
The two self proclaimed Aces of WWE have had enough, as they attack the Profits. They toss Dawkins into his drum-kit, and wrap Ford’s leg around the ringpost and slam it with a chair. Dawkins rushes to protect his partner, but the damage is already done to his leg. Kayla Braxton asks the Aces why they attacked the Profits. They say that what happened was the Profits’ fault, as they treat everything like fun and games. They demand another match for the tag titles.
Otis and Daniel Bryan (w/Chad Gable) VS Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
Daniel Bryan starts off against Cesaro, with the latter getting the upper hand with his power advantage. He tags in Nakamura, who locks in a chinlock. Bryan fights out and uses his mat wrestling to keep him controlled. Nakamura delivers an elbow and tags in Cesaro, but Bryan shoves him to the outside. Nakamura goes for a kick but Bryan ducks it and dives to the outside onto Cesaro. However, Cesaro catches him and delivers a Very European Uppercut as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Nakamura is tossing Bryan to the outside. He tags in Cesaro, who brings him back into the ring and drops an elbow on him for 2. The Swiss Cyborg slams Bryan with Brodie Lee’s Truckstop slam for 2, and tags in Nakamura, who hits an apron-hung knee for 2. Nakamura delivers an enziguri, but Bryan tosses Nakamura to the outside. Both wrestlers tag in their partners, and Otis drops Cesaro with a lovely Discus Lariat.
He delivers the Caterpillar, but Nakamura breaks up the pin. Otis goes for the Vader Bomb, but Cesaro moves out of the way to tag in Nakamura. The King of Strong Style looks for the Kinshasa, but Otis hits him with a flapjack and tags in Bryan, who rolls up Nakamura for 2. Bryan evades a corner attack from Nakamura with a backflip, but gets caught with a kick. Nakamura looks for an armbar, but Otis breaks it up. Cesaro takes out Otis with an uppercut, but Bryan takes him out with the Running Knee. Nakamura looks to roll Bryan up, but Bryan turns it into the Yes Lock, and Nakamura is forced to tap.
Winners via submission: Otis and Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: 3/5
Kevin Owens VS Jey Uso
The two start off aggressively, beating each other down. Owens gets the advantage, beating Jey down in the corner, and then following him to the outside and delivering a clothesline/senton combo. He brings him back in the ring and pins him for 2, and then targets the left leg of Jey.
Jey fights back briefly, but gets shut down when K.O. goes after his leg once more. He slams it off the apron and slaps Jey around a bit, but when he goes for a Stunner, Jey counters with a superkick. Jey jumps off the steel steps to attack Owens, but gets caught with a superkick and tossed over the announce table as we go to commercial.
When we come back, Jey is attempting an Uso Splash, but Owens moves out of the way, and Jey hurts his leg on the landing. Owens takes advantage and drops him with a Stunner for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Kevin Owens
Match Rating: 3/5
Owens keeps good on his promise to beat up Jey after the match, delivering another Stunner. K.O. grabs a pair of handcuffs and tethers him to the ropes. He delivers a superkick to Jey and continues to stomp on his leg, trying to draw Roman out. The champ remains backstage, so K.O. keeps up his assault. He takes the handcuffs off and tells Roman that “he’ll come to him”. He slams Jey into the ThunderDome screens and drags him over to a table, laying him out on top of it. He climbs onto the screen stands to Frog Splash Jey, but Roman surprises him there.
The two shove him onto the next highest row of screens, then grab chairs and decimate K.O. With some piped in “you suck” chants in the background, Roman tosses Owens down onto the table that Jey was set up on earlier. The show ends with the champ and his cousin surveying a broken Kevin Owens, wondering if they’ve done enough to keep him down this time.
SmackDown January 1
Another moderate Friday night show. It really didn’t make me dislike it or like it. I suppose I’d rather have no feelings than bad feelings, but it’s getting a little tiresome to see the same guys wrestling week after week. And I understand that there are storylines and feuds that need to be progressed, but surely you can shake it up every once in a while? I guess what I’m trying to say is I miss having the Fiend and Alexa Bliss on SmackDown. A lot.